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Women's saddle survey...(19 posts)

Women's saddle survey...jtolleson
Feb 13, 2003 10:36 AM
What are fellow women roadies riding and liking these days?

I've been on the quest for the perfect saddle. I put 3 seasons on a Terry Liberator Ti Race and every since it gave out have been hoping to find something a little sleeker/lighter but that I like as much.

I know that the Terry Butterfly is kind of the "usual suspect" in women's saddles, but what else are folks happy with (especially for long distance road riding).
Serfas DD pro (women's version)_rt_
Feb 13, 2003 11:19 AM
love mine & i've got em on all of my bikes, road & mtn.

they used to be called the Serfas Arc Dual Density Pro but i think they shortened the name to DD Pro for this year.

very very comfy (at least for my butt).

here's the link:

Second the DD for long ridesElaineK
Feb 13, 2003 2:05 PM
It feels more comfortable on my pubic arch than the Butterfly did. I've ridden a few centuries and a double with it and no complaints. I wouldn't say it's sleek but it is comfortable for me.
I have a friend who has a full carbonKristin
Feb 13, 2003 11:42 AM
I think its a stelle italia, but I'm not sure. This saddle was paper thin and looked painful. We all stood around her bike wondering how it doesn't just snap in half. But she swears its the most comfortable saddle she's ever owned. My next saddle will either be that or a brooks.

Me? I didn't know any better when I choose my saddle. I passed up an all leather SLR w/Ti rails for a pudgy gel saddle. I'm still shaking my head over that decision.
Butterfly Trigrace
Feb 13, 2003 1:15 PM
I used the Butterfly for a few years but now I'm riding more in areobars or the drops than the hoods so I switched to the Butterfly Tri for some noticeable relief in the front. Both fit my sit bones well and are comfortable for me on long rides.
this is not the answer you wanna hearcyclopathic
Feb 13, 2003 1:18 PM
Melinda Lyons who holds female records for BMB and PBP rides Nashbar gel dual density saddle. It is a boat anchor ~450g. Most girls I've ridden with both on and off road ride and prize Butterfly
Been happy with the Butterfly but...theBreeze
Feb 13, 2003 1:35 PM
when I replace it I'm thinking of giving the Damselfly a try. Similar but a little narrower.

Had the Butterfly since I bought my bike 1.5 years ago, have done several centuries and a week tour and been satisfied. I lowered my bars a couple months ago and noticed enough difference in pressure points that I think I want something narrower in the middle part of the saddle.

I'm a pretty small and light person BTW.
re: Women's saddle survey...cp123
Feb 13, 2003 2:14 PM
I had a women's terry for the last 5 years or so. Then I borrowed an older model sella italia womens seat to try which was just divine. I ended up buying the current model sella italia with the cutaway in the centre. The hole certainly makes a difference, but I tend to sit to the left a bit anyway and sometimes I need to "rearrange" to ensure that I'm sitting as comfortably as i can. Plus I needed to break it in and mould it to my bum.

My longest ride has been 210km and I was NOT comfortable at the end (that was on the terry), although I doubt anything would be that good after that time.
Miss M used to swear by the Terry Butterfly...MB1
Feb 13, 2003 2:24 PM
but now you would have a hard time getting her off her Brooks Finesse. She doesn't weigh much though so it took her a really long time to break it in (she used it commuting for several hundred miles first).

She is still amazed at how hard the Brooks seems to the touch but it sure is comfortable. I guess we will be buying a couple more soon for her other bikes as she only has 2 brooks now and rides 5 bikes.
Miss M used to swear by the Terry Butterfly...ElaineK
Feb 13, 2003 3:23 PM
One of my randonneuring friends has a Gilles Berthoud tourer with a Finesse. She loves it but says it gives a little discomfort if she is in the drops for too long. I have a Rivendell on order that I'm going to buy a Finesse for first. Does Miss M have any discomfort in the drops?
She must ride in the drops 75% of the time.MB1
Feb 13, 2003 4:45 PM
So if she has discomfort it isn't because of the fit of the bike or her position on it.

She has had problems with some shorts (Pearl Izumi I think) while riding on the Brooks that don't bother her on the Butterfly but she doesn't really like those shorts a lot.

I think comfort on long rides is a combination of fit, fitness, road surface, weather (humidity really makes a difference to saddle comfort on long rides) the saddle and your health. Along with a lot of other variables all these things are subject to change.

In other words while I also like my Brooks saddles they are not perfect-only very, very good for our rear ends and style of riding. Some of the folks that we ride centuries also swear by Brooks saddles but others have gladly given away nearly new Brooks saddles and will never ride them again.

Still their reputation with long distance riders makes Brooks Saddles well worth an extended try.
She must ride in the drops 75% of the time.ElaineK
Feb 13, 2003 6:07 PM
I'll give it an extended try and see how it breaks in. You're right about the other factors that come into play on this. This will be my first year of randonneuring so I think I'll get the Brooks now and break it in on my training rides and see how it works out. My Rivendell doesn't come for two more very long months. Besides my friends that are always talking about randonnering your photos essays and other posts about your rides with Miss M have made me want to give much longer yearly distances a real try these next few years. Thanks!
brooks experienceJS Haiku Shop
Feb 14, 2003 6:24 AM
late summer 2002 i put a new brooks b17 narrow on my cross bike--this bike doubles for solo distance, trainer, and poor weather riding, and also sees any climbing centuries, since it has plenty low gears.

this saddle was after settling on the san marco regal (both ti and cromo railed models) on other bikes. the b17 narrow and regal have about the same profile, and are both ~150 mm wide & fairly flat at the back.

the brooks was very painful and i became very annoyed riding it for the first 600 miles, then it seemed to suddenly break-in and conform to the shape of my arse. with under 2000 miles on it, it's very very comfy, and i'd suspect would compare favorably with the regal over long distances (or many hours) at a time. i do use a gel cover on the regals for longer rides.

my brooks often has a rail-mounted rack affixed, supporting a large saddlebag. even with the bag empty, i've noticed quite a bit of flex in the saddle rails when riding. this was not wholly evident until i could see it directly affecting the rack (rack moving up & down). so, it seems a little of the mystique of brooks saddles--at least the cromo-railed and unsprung models--is the suspension inherent in its rails in combination with the suspended leather cover.

J (Brooks convert, but still enjoys the SM Regal)

p.s. i'm going to try the rolls next.
My wife swears by the Brooks B-67, althoughOldEdScott
Feb 14, 2003 8:25 AM
she's still baffled that something so rocklike can transform into something so comfortable when you sit on it.
Trek WSDPseuZQ
Feb 13, 2003 2:56 PM
Purchased aftermarket. I had a Terry women's liberator on my older bike, then got the 5200 and was not keen to ride on the on stock saddle. The WSD saddle has a slightly narrower nose than the Terry. (Perceptual -- haven't actually measured.) Have had no problems with the Trek saddle on centuries and slightly beyond.
SLR, Flite before that, but I'm not necessarily normal :)lonefrontranger
Feb 14, 2003 10:43 AM
Took me 2 years to find a comfortable saddle, BTW. I tried every "women's" saddle out there. None of them fit my bum, all of them chafed my naughty bits and some even made my feet go numb from too much pressure on the nerve that runs down the inside of my leg. After a chance encounter with a Flite on a (male) friend's TT-bike, I was sold.

The key to comfort with the SLR is to keep it dead level. Incidentally, 3 of the other ladies on my race team now use them after being curious enough to try out my spare.
Feb 14, 2003 11:50 AM
Have you tried the SLR Carbon? I believe this is the saddle the my friend was riding (should have written down the name!) and I am curious.
Not SLR carbon, SLR standardlonefrontranger
Feb 14, 2003 1:21 PM
There's a diff, SLR "Evolution" is the shell-only, no padding, no cover carbon saddle and is even spendier. I ride the straight, 135-gram SLR "classic" with minimal padding; the one that retails for $80 at Excel right now. The standard SLR is quite thin and knifelike; my junior teammate (who uses one) calls it the "butt-floss saddle".

There's a new version of the SLR whose name I can't recall that has a tad more padding and a cutout. Of the 4 ladies who tried my spare SLR, one did choose this more cushy edition, and 3 ride the "straight" SLR. That's 5 Selle SLR users on a team of 15 women, so a pretty decent percentage.

Another choice might be the Flite TT, which is somewhere in between the SLR and the old-school Flite. I've been thinking about this one for my 'cross bike as the SLR is a tad too slippery on remounts. I've still got the classic Flite on my fixie. It's still comfy, but the hammocky design doesn't let you shift around quite as much, which is a big benefit of the SLR on 5-hour rides IMO. Well, you can shift around quite a bit on an old school Flite, but you always wind up back in the same low spot.

I can't ride a smooshy saddle, the uneven pressure points from too much padding make my **** go numb. Guess I'm just a hardass.

If you do pick the standard SLR, be warned: the thin leather cover is prone to shredding, but it's so thin you can easily cover up dings with a black permanent marker.
Feb 14, 2003 12:39 PM